Very Old Yam Ceremony Basketry Mask, New Guinea. There is not paint on this circa 1970’s yam mask. You can see it has a rodent chewed hold on the forehead. Traditional culture and yam ceremonies are still a vital part of life for the Abelam and Arapesh peoples of New Guinea. Ceremonial yams grow up to 12 feet long and a man’s status is judged by his ability to grow big yams. During the festival, the yams are decorated with masks, flowers, fruit, and leaves until they resemble men at the last stage of initiation and are then displayed. These yam ‘men’ are believed to be present as living beings capable of hearing and seeing. A man does not keep his yams but exchanges them with his traditional exchange partner. The partner with the biggest yams is seen to have the most power. Men make the basketry masks they put on the yams and paint them with clay pigments and natural paints. The masks are carefully stored each year after the yam ceremonies the repainted and reused the next year.
It is 12 inches tall and 8 inches wide.
Priced at $110 plus $20 shipping costs within the US (Please see below for important shipping information)
Total cost will be $130
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT SHIPPING COSTS: Shipping has gotten very pricey and changes regularly. I have no interest in making money on shipping costs. You can order with confidence. I promise you if I can ship your purchase for less than the quoted price I will immediately refund the difference. If it costs more than the quoted price I will honor that price.
*If I am shipping to you outside the US, please contact me for shipping costs. I will get back to you with a total.